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Australia Forms Consortium to Design Nuclear Submarine Yard in Osborne

Canberra has selected defense industry partners to provide the concept design of a Nuclear-Powered Submarine Construction Yard (NPSCY) in Osborne, South Australia.

The NPSCY will produce the Australian Defence Force’s forthcoming submarine fleet as part of a joint effort with the US and the UK.

To be designated SSN-AUKUS, the vessels will sail to protect Australia, its Indo-Pacific allies, and American and British interests across the region.

Under the NPSCY project, Texas-based KBR will lead the design of the shipyard’s steel processing and fabrication facilities.

Meanwhile, a joint venture between AECOM, also from Texas, and Melbourne engineering company Aurecon will work on the rest of the site.

This group will support the consolidation, integration, and commissioning of Australia’s nuclear submarine fleet.

The facility will cover more than 75 hectares (185 acres) in Osborne.

Historic Project

According to Australia, the decision to select the team for NPSCY design was based on the team’s demonstrated infrastructure expertise from previous works in Osborne, Henderson, and other sites in AUKUS partner nations.

Canberra wrote that related initiatives to complete the NPSCY shipyard, including site mobilization and early development of a new car park, began in December 2023.

Throughout the effort, the government and contractors are expected to create up to 4,000 direct jobs in construction, with up to 5,500 roles for the SSN-AUKUS production phase.

“The submarine construction yard at Osborne will provide highly skilled jobs for decades to come, providing financial security for thousands of hardworking Australians,” the Australian Ministry of Defence stated.                                                                                                                                    

“This project will ensure Australia will be at the forefront of manufacturing the most advanced submarines in the world, and is another example of the Albanese Government getting on with the job of delivering AUKUS.”

“Not only will this ambitious project create thousands of local jobs, it will deliver the most critical defence capability acquisition in our nation’s history.”

SSN-AUKUS Progress

Australia announced additional investment in April to upgrade military centers on Garden Island to support its future SSN-AUKUS fleet.

One month earlier, the government tapped BAE Systems to lead the submarines’ construction.

In 2022, Canberra earmarked 10 billion Australian dollars ($6.65 billion) to establish a naval base on the east coast to house the SSN-AUKUS vessels.

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